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1. The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition
2. Suttree
3. Child of God
4. Cities of the Plain: Border Trilogy
5. The Border Trilogy: All the Pretty
6. Outer Dark
7. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening
8. The Crossing: Border Trilogy (2)
9. The Sunset Limited
10. All the Pretty Horses (The Border
11. No Country for Old Men (Vintage
12. The Orchard Keeper
13. A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The
14. Road 1ST Edition
15. Adventures in Reading Cormac McCarthy
16. The Stonemason: A Play in Five
17. Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy
18. Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty
19. Cormac McCarthy: A Literary Companion
20. [The Road]THE ROAD[Paperback]

1. The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International)
by Cormac McCarthy
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (2009-11-24)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307476316
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

National Book Critic's Circle Award Finalist

A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year
The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post

The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

From the Trade Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
Best known for his Border Trilogy, hailed in the San Francisco Chronicle as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century," Cormac McCarthy has written ten rich and often brutal novels, including the bestselling No Country for Old Men, and The Road. Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we've read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. Read his glowing review below. --Daphne Durham

Guest Reviewer: Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane, master of the hard-boiled thriller, generated a cult following with his series about private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, wowed readers with the intense and gut-wrenching Mystic River, blew fans all away with the mind-bending Shutter Island, and switches gears with Coronado, his new collection of gritty short stories (and one play).

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith. --Dennis Lehane

The Road is now a major motion picture based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, starring Academy Award-nominee Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Enjoy these images from the film, and click the thumbnails to see larger images.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2317)

5-0 out of 5 stars American masterpiece
This is a masterpiece of American fiction.It is precisely the jarring juxtaposition of the relentlessly cruel,apopalyptic world with the Man's unwavering, bottomless devotion to the Boy that makes this one of the most compelling love stories ever written. "If he is not the Word of God, then God never spoke."You have that right, sir. Cormac McCarthy's devastating prose nearly burned holes in my retinas and pulled my heart out of my chest.
Favorable comparisons to Melville are well founded.Perhaps "Blood Meridian" is McCarthy's "Moby Dick" and "The Road" is his "Bully Budd."He's taken themes and images from the larger work and boiled them down into an incredibly potent elixir.It scared the bejesus out of me and made me hug my boys tightly.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Road is a scary, exiting and great book.

This is a really excellent book I think.It's about and father and his son walking through a post-apocalyptic part of America and trying to survive with anything they can get. They are trying to get to the south where it's warmer and hopefully there are people, and nice ones too. On their journey they encounter groups of cannibals and starvation. The father carries a pistol with one round on it throughout the whole book in case they really need it.The father is also dying but he won't tell his son.

I read this book in a short amount of time and couldn't stop.I don't really know of a lesson this book would teach but it's still very entertaining.I think it's about the relationship between father and son.
I had first heard of the movie remake and wanted to see it.But my dad said that I should read the book first.So I went to Barnes and Noble and read the reviews.They were like "This book is amazing and I recommend this book to ANYBODY!!!!!!" So I took a few looks at it and really got into it.

My favorite part of the book was when the two of them are walking through the abandoned house.They then find supplies and raw food to survive.I also thought the cannibal part was freaky but exiting.

My favorite character is the father because even though he is dying, he will still protect his son and keep him safe.I think that that is very nice and if I was the father, I would do the same.I then saw the movie and was pretty impressed.It was true to the story and was the sitting on the edge of your seat type of movie.This book is pretty complicated, scary and sad so I recommend it to kids and adults the ages 11 and up.I also recommend that you read the book before seeing the movie.Thanks for reading!

2-0 out of 5 stars Some good turns of phrase amid a vast wasteland of bad grammar
This book is stream-of-conciousness rambling that gets tedious quickly. The author does convey emotion well. Unfortunately, the only emotion in the book is flagging hope in the middle of a world of despair.

The plot grows thin after a few pages. The man and the boy are starving. They find food. They're starving. They find food. They're starving. And now you get the idea.

The ending of the book is as out-of-place as the ending to Ecclesiastes. After a very depressing trudge, "God" is suddenly the answer.

Read a few pages. Feel bad for the main characters? You've now read the novel. There's no need to suffer through the text.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lack of punctuation makes you illiterate, not genius
Why oh why have so many people praised this book? I think it's because they haven't actually bothered to read it. It is boring, without plot, character development, or even literary style. I won't be reading anymore of McCarthy's books. One was one too many.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark But Wonderful
The Road is a postapocalyptic novel about a father and son trying to survive in a burned-out, ash-covered world, slowly making their way to the coast, where the father believes they will find hope.

I'll admit that it took me a while to get into the novel, because it's a bit of a slow start and so much of the novel is so psychological.Like the film Castaway, there is very little dialogue and most action takes place in the heads of the two main characters.After about the first 25 or 30 pages, however, I was totally hooked.The relationship between the father and son is incredible, and is communicated extremely succinctly and with a real depth of feeling, which is particularly impressive given the extremely small amount of dialogue between the two of them.

I also felt that the character development was especially strong, and the ending of the novel was perhaps one of the most heart-rending endings I have ever read.Again, particularly impressive given the fact that the dialogue is so sparce.

A quick note for those who may be dragging their feet on reading The Road, because I know that I was one of them.I tried to watch the film adaptation of No Country for Old Men--another novel by Cormac McCarthy--after it won the acadamy award for best picture, and I found it extremely disturbing and couldn't finish the film.I can't handle graphic violence, and I thought that the book might be less graphic.I was wrong, and I wasn't able to finish the novel of No Country, either.I had therefore associated Cormac McCarthy with really violent and disturbing narratives, and the fact that other people I knew who had read The Road had confirmed that the book was "dark," I thought it would be too disturbing for me.I was wrong.The novel is definitely dark--you can't write a good postapocolyptic novel without going dark--but it's not graphically violent, and the disturbing moments are all on the level that I was able to handle.And I consider myself relatively squeamish.

Read all of my book reviews on my blog at [...] ... Read more

2. Suttree
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 480 Pages (1992-05-05)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679736328
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville.Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there--a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters--he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (77)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wondrous Literary Art
How to even begin a review of such a profound and magnificent work of art?How can I accurately honor such artistry with my own dull, inadequate words?

This is one of the greatest things I've ever read, the most beautiful prose I've ever encountered, an absolutely wonderful book.It hit me 30 pages in: this is the payoff in learning to read.This book is a stunningly beautiful thing, telling a simple but deep, rich, meaningful story.In short: Cornelius Suttree, in his mid-20s in 1951-54 leaves his wife, child, comfort and future to live in a rundown houseboat on the Tennessee River in Knoxville, and Life happens.

It wouldn't matter if McCarthy were writing about quantum theory, municipal waste management or marmoset husbandry, his magnificent writing would make it rich and entertaining.

For readers of The Road who want more McCarthy, I caution this is book is long way from that.There are similarities in the prose and some themes, but the two are very different works, separated by two decades.The undeniably lyrical McCarthy is there, but where The Road was necessarily sparse, this book is so much more intense and full, lovingly lingering on descriptions of almost all things, a marvelous impressionist narrative entwined with the story.

This book is not a simple and light read.It is dense, almost 500 pages.There are no quotation marks, and there are fleeting changes in tense and point of view, with extended mystical reveries taking the narrative in a decidedly Joycean direction.There are deep references to mythology, legend, and classics, with challenging vocabulary.Writers will love this book.

The book is an homage to a youth-memory Knoxville, bulldozed for progress.The incredibly evocative and photo-image fastidiousness of description, the incredible attention to detail of the river, its environs, and the city shows both McCarthy's intimate knowledge of it and his love for this place, despite its clearly described filth, decrepitude, poverty, and injustice.

The book is humorous, but this is no Dave Barry book.The humor comes from the unfailing human capacity for the accidentally ridiculous.Yes, these parts are very funny, but the stark reality of living rough on the river is ever-present.

This book is about freedom, and about the freedom of experiencing life.Life=the river.You can camp alongside and simply watch it go by.You may dive in, but you don't know what you'll find down below.You can cast off and let yourself be taken by it, but your destination and speed will be out of your control.Or you can navigate upon it, going against or with the current; you have choice and it takes you where adventure waits, but it tires, weakens and weathers you.

The book is a meditation on freedom, of letting go of the normal, expected and constricting, and living an unscheduled life of impulse, chance, and adventure, in a place and at a pace of your own choosing, responsible for oneself only.Suttree has done the unthinkable, abandoning a wife and son, for no reason other than freedom.Not money, a woman, or fear, but simply freedom.He is no coward, but he made a clear, rational choice in the face of undeniable and capricious mortality--so clearly shown in the book--for himself, his life, and his experience.

Suttree is an imminently likable person, and very few in the story do not like him.He is a good man, personable, nonjudgmental, open, welcoming, polite, and honest, angered only by dishonesty and injustice.He carries no grudges; but does carry pain, regret over the hurt he has caused, but not over the choices he has made.It's painfully clear he is smarter than the average bear, and he is drinking it all in, mulling it all over; he is aware of the wonder around him.

But of course, others just keep on intruding, the ultimate lesson being that pure freedom means an absolute cut-off, the life of the hermit, and ultimately (as Suttree discovers) starvation and madness.In the end, you can't be free, and to strive for it purposefully means disappointing and hurting others.To care is to become involved and invested, and you're hooked.

The comparisons to Faulkner and Steinbeck are apt, even Twain, but I found myself thinking more of Kerouac.The marginal yet satisfying existence and time frame are the same, and so many times there is that simple awe and wonder of life, the mysticism, on the river or on the road.There is no regret, no bitterness, no envy, only the wonder of what is experienced when free and out there in the world.McCarthy makes it clear this choice is hard yet noble, and those who refuse to make it, who are timid or unyielding, are damned to their own dead ends, whether in the penitentiary, or in loveless marriage.

Like the fantastic work of James Dickey, this is a man's novel, written by a man about very masculine themes and ideas.In some ways it is about the glory of being a man, whether it is the pleasure of a top-notch haircut and shave, a steak dinner, pride in hard but honest work, or the raw delight--and unpredictable insanity--in engaging with the opposite sex.

I have to close without even beginning to discuss things like the novel's place between North and South, McCarthy's take on racism, his nostalgia for old Knoxville, the meaning of the mystical reveries and the typhoid hallucination, his odyssey into the Smoky Mountains, the dead man at the end, his hooker-girlfriend, domesticity, and so much more.

Bottom line: This is a book I'll read again and again, and I know I will get more out of it each time.It is a masterfully written story, combining styles and approaches with deeply crafted poetic construct and vocabulary, with issues and themes overlapping and intertwining, offering a thick knot to slowly and enjoyably unravel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Each book gets better
Best yet.I started at the beginning.This is the best so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
I am a fan of Cormac McCarthy, The Road is my favorite but this second best. Suttree is a great character.

3-0 out of 5 stars book
To the layman reader, the book was overly comprehensive.McCarthy writes so much off the wall imagery its hard to naturally/instinctly imagine wtf he's talking about. The story it self is very slow.

4-0 out of 5 stars Suttree
This book toyed with my emotions in ways others had only fleeting success at doing. Just an absolutely marvelous depiction of rueful poverty in the South in the 1950s. Everyone knows McCarthy's good; Suttree, which is supposedly one of his most autobiographical, and its sincerity suggest that McCarthy's so good at riffling through the more morose aspects of human nature because he himself has lived through many of them. ... Read more

3. Child of God
by Cormac McCarthy
 Paperback: 208 Pages (1993-06-29)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679728740
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this taut, chilling novel, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape--haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail.While telling his story, Cormac McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance.Amazon.com Review
"Scuttling down the mountain with the thing on his backhe looked like a man beset by some ghast succubus, the dead girlriding him with legs bowed akimbo like a monstrous frog."Child of God must be the most sympathetic portrayal ofnecrophilia in all of literature. The hero, Lester Ballard, isexpelled from his human family and ends up living in undergroundcaves, which he peoples with his trophies: giant stuffed animals wonin carnival shooting galleries and the decomposing corpses of hisvictims. Cormac McCarthy's much-admired prose is suspenseful, richwith detail, and yet restrained, even delicate, in its images ofLester's activities. So tightly focused is the story on this one"child of God" that it resembles a myth, orparable. "You could say that he's sustained by his fellow men,like you.... A race that gives suck to the maimed and the crazed, thatwants their wrong blood in its history and will have it." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars Life and times of Lester Ballard
Lester Ballard, roaming the mountains of Sevier County in East Tennessee: a murderin', lootin' necrophiliac. But that's beside the point, as 'Child of God (1973)'--his 3rd novel--serves as yet another of Cormac McCarthy's meditations on the latent nature of evil in Man. Unlike the ham-handed observations of modern society that repeatedly claim that the world 'has lost its touch with humanity', or enjoys beating that deadest of horses 'youngsters have no respect for nothing'; we have McCarthy simply stating the truth as it is: 'I think people are the same from the day God first made one'(retorted by a wizened character in the book, when inquired by a young deputy as to whether people were meaner then than they are now). It makes no difference, evil is part and parcel of man. McCarthy also ponders as to why a sociopath like Lester Ballard--who preys on trysting lovers, who murders and loots the corpses, who dresses up in his female victims cloths on a homicidal spree wearing a wig made out of a dried human scalp--is 'preserved' and saved by nature. It happens when the protagonist is crossing a river, and is almost consumed by the gushing waters--almost, but not quite--why? 'why will not these waters take him?'. It maybe the Grand Balance, where there's good there has to be evil, to keep things on an even keel. But McCarthy never sympathizes with his protagonist, we are made to experience the world through his eyes sure, but it is purely for empathy.
The next attribute going here is the language: the vivid, detailed descriptions may at times seem orante but it is what makes this story rise above common kitsch--not to say that a cheap plot is hiding among the wording--yet the taxing, lingering description of a rotting corpse being salvaged from an underground cave after the fact, is striking enough to make the most jaded of readers think twice about the gross scene taking place. McCarthy's prose took time for me to get used to (actually this is one of his more accessible works), but as many have said it's ultimately a rewarding experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another good book by McCarthy
Every book I've read by this author has been great a read.McCarthy does not dissapoint wiht "Child of God".I cannot say that this is a pleasant book to read.Much like some of his other works (I've read "The Road", "No Country for Old Men", and "Blood Meridian") the story is not always enjoyable, but compelling.You'll have a hard time putting it down

5-0 out of 5 stars It's only a book
I've read at least 8 books by McCarthy and after every one I promise myself never to read another again.But it's like rubbernecking a bad accident; I just can't stop myself.He's such a brilliant writer and his prose unmatched. Simply genius.But his stories leave me drained and gloomy. I doubt anyone has portrayed human degradation better than he has in Child of God. That aside, what disturbs me more than the human despair is every book I've read by McCarthy portrays graphic incidents of animal abuse and cruelty, to which I'm extremely sensitive.So while reading through these horrific passages, I chant "it's only a book it's only a book... this really didn't happen".Poor robin, dog, cat....

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive
This is the story of Lester Ballard, a demented misfit that roams the mountains of East Tennessee Appalachia.He wanders lonely reaching for companionship and intimacy in any way he can.Sad story that heads down the inevitable bad road.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's Cormac McCarthy, fer Crissakes....
The optimistic tint that I had hoped was somehow implied by the title of this book, which would make it an exception to the McCarthy rule, was pretty much not there. Pretty much.Instead, what I found was a story centered on illiterate Hill people, brain damaged hermits, LOTS of suffering, and the centerpiece, necrophilia. Sweet.

Woven into this narrative ofsuffering, and it's unique variant as experienced and created by the central character, are moments of prose, shining, like the sparkles that are thrown off by jagged shards of broken glass. ... Read more

4. Cities of the Plain: Border Trilogy (3)
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 292 Pages (1999-05-25)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679747192
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this magnificent novel, the National Book Award-winning author of "All the Pretty Horses" fashions a darkly beautiful elegy for the American frontier. The setting is New Mexico in 1952, where ranch hands John Grady Cole and Billy Parham become ensnared in events resonating with the violence and inevitability of classic tragedy.Amazon.com Review
On a ranch in southeastern Texas, soon after World War II, agroup of solitary, inarticulately lonely men gathers to work animals asthe sun sets for good on the mythic American West. All of these mennurse losses both personal (siblings or wives) and collective (ashared lifestyle and philosophy). Among them is John Grady Cole, theadolescent hero of the first book in Cormac McCarthy's Border trilogy,All the PrettyHorses. John Grady remains the magnificent horseman he alwayswas, and he still dreams too much. On the ranch, he meets BillyParham, whose own tragic sojourn through Mexico in The Crossing, thesecond book of the set, continues to quietly suffocate him. The twoform a friendship that will nurture both but save neither from thedestiny that McCarthy's characters always sense lurching to meetthem.

Soaked in storm-heavy atmosphere but brightened by the ranch-hands'easy camaraderie and gentle humor, Cities of the Plainsurprises with its sweetness. The awkward doomed-romance plot at thecenter of this tight, concise novel fails to convince, but, remarkably,does little to undercut the book's impact. What lingers here, and whatmatters, are the brooding, eerie portraits of the plains and theriders, glimpsed mostly alone but occasionally leaning together, whoslip across them, over the horizon into memory. --GlenHirshberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (118)

5-0 out of 5 stars Setting Sun On a Special Walk Through Time
It has been a very long time since I've written a review for Amazon...simply lost interest in sharing, I guess.After finishing "Cities" I've sat here for the best part of an hour in tears.Tears for the characters, for the lives unlived as well as those lived.With my late dad raised in Deming and my mother in Alamo, McCarthy puts me in my distant past.One could take a few paragraphs from each of the trilogies each day and spend years examining the depth.For example, "But what is your life?Can you see it?It vanishes at its own appearance.Moment by moment.Until it vanishes to appear no more.When you look at the world is there a point in time when the seen becomes the remembered?"I am amazed at McCarthy's detailed knowledge of Western culture from this era.Sometimes I feel like he's writing personally for me.Clearly as good as it gets.

4-0 out of 5 stars A reckoning with literature
Readers, there are many problems with the Border Trilogy: the infuriating too-clever-by-half use of Spanish, which to a someone with little more than a basic grasp of the language, leaves large chucks of dialogue opaque; McCarthy's difficulty, at times, in rendering what he is describing as truly and eloquently visible; a penchant for repetitious overly dragged out scenes (how many times in The Crossing did Billy really have to wander from town to town, towards the end of the book?) - but the Cities of the Plain completes what is unquestionably a masterpiece of American literature. What great work of art is not flawed? Thank God for the flaws, in fact, so we have them to counter-pose against the great moments in the three books and therefore see them as truly rare pieces of writing.
So many reviewers have questioned the ending of Cities of the Plain. I fail - so sadly - to see why. Quite simply it is heart-breaking, devastatingly beautiful. Billy's final scene - the very last pages of the book - are almost too painful to read. Few books reduce me to tears - and to be able to do so is, for me, the mark of greatness - but McCarthy tore the heart from my body in the final moments of his trilogy. All I can say is, 'Poor, poor Billy'. To make a reader love a character is perhaps the surest sign of a talent that verges on brilliance. The epilogue has to stand with the work of Beckett in its ruthlessly bleak, but loving and tender, summation of human life.
Like the most memorable books, the characters McCarthy has created - John Grady and Billy - will stay with you forever. Leaving them will be terrible. But remembering them as clay in the hands of a great writer - and the lives they lived for us - will remain a life-affirming gift.
But please, for the love of God, read the books in the correct order - to do otherwise would reduce a reckoning with literature, that should change your soul, to an experience that is all but pointless.
You will enjoy these novels - although there are moments where you will be angry with McCarthy for letting himself down and not living up to the peerless standards he has set for himself as a writer - but in the end, when you close Cities of the Plain and put the trilogy down, you will be a better - if sadder - human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars A worthy conclusion
The concluding part in the Border Trilogy brings together the main character from each of the preceding novels, John Grady Cole from All the Pretty Horses, and Billy Parham from The Crossing. It is set after the war, John Grady is nineteen and Billy some ten years older, they are working together on a ranch at a time when the traditional life of the cowboy is threatened.

This book is very much about the friendship between these two young men, a friendship closer perhaps than they realise, with Billy seeing himself very much as looking out for John Grady. The story centres around their life on the ranch and John Grady's ill-advised love for a young prostitute. We get to know also their co-workers on the ranch, and along the way there are little vignettes involving additional characters very much in the vein of the other books in the Trilogy.

Cities of the Plain is every bit as good as the preceding books, beautifully written the sparse prose yet evokes the setting and the life of these men in a time of change. It is a most enjoyable read, there is humour, but is also heart-warming and at times heart-rending, deep in meaning; a worthy conclusion to a superb Trilogy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Cities of the Plain ; Border Trilogy
I would love to read this trilogy on my Kindle, but why have book 3 of a trilogy on Kindle and NOT book one?It doesn't make sense to promote any part of a series in a Kindle email when the entire series is not available for Kindle!

5-0 out of 5 stars An emotional ending
The Border Trilogy finale, the ending--at least *an* ending.

I greatly enjoyed Cities of the Plain. The book was much more dialogue-driven than the previous two--moreso than most McCarthy. It read quite like a screenplay (honestly I'm surprised there's no adaptation in the works--no Matt Damon please). Landscape descriptions, landscape as a character itself, is toned down, replaced with scene and scenario, the near-exciting humdrum of cowboy ranching life, a moribund profession and way of life. Billy Parham has seemingly matured past his conflicted downtroddenness, his inability to get or keep what he wants from The Crossing. He's John Grady's brother, father figure, his confidant. They are each other's brother, with John Grady filling in for Boyd, bringing out Billy's protectiveness. Billy has a voice of reason, a pragmatic and fatalistic outlook. John Grady is ever the romantic, pursuing his desire with unfailing optimism and hope. Billy's intentions of holding him back are frivolous. The two are quite different, yet see in each other something of value, and it's their brotherly chemistry, conversation and care for one another that sucks the reader in, capturing their emotions entirely.

The story is slow to begin, but once it picks up it doesn't stop. Though McCarthy's books always leave me reeling, this one carried much emotional weight in both of its "endings." I still run some of Billy's last words through my head, and think of the power this story holds.

Highly recommended, though if you're going to read this it all, read the first two first. (For reference, my favorite of the trilogy was The Crossing, followed by Cities of the Plain, then All the Pretty Horses--though each book is a masterpiece in itself.)

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Some select quotes, ordered they themselves tell a story:
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"A man is always right to pursue the thing he loves." (199)

"a thing once set in motion has no ending in this world until the last witness has passed" (205)

"there are no crossroads. Our decisions do not have some alternative. We may contemplate a choice but we pursue one path only." (286)

"... when things are gone they're gone. They aint comin back." (126)

"every act which has no heart will be found out in the end" (196)

"The world past, the world to come. ... Above all a knowing deep in the bone that beauty and loss are one." (126) ... Read more

5. The Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses, the Crossing, Cities of the Plain (Everyman's Library)
by Cormac McCarthy
Hardcover: 1040 Pages (1999-09-28)
list price: US$36.00 -- used & new: US$21.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375407936
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Available together in one volume for the first time, the three novels of Cormac
McCarthy's award-winning and bestselling Border Trilogy constitute a genuine
American epic.

Beginning with All the Pretty Horses and continuing through The
and Cities of the Plain, McCarthy chronicles the lives of two
young men coming of age in the Southwest and Mexico, poised on the edge of a
world about to change forever.Hauntingly beautiful, filled with sorrow and
humor, The Border Trilogy is a masterful elegy for the American frontier.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars `Things separate from their stories have no meaning.'
The first two novels in The Border Trilogy feature different protagonists and are set roughly a decade apart.Both protagonists: John Grady Cole, in `All the Pretty Horses'; and Billy Parham in `The Crossing', are young cowboys and each travels between the US southwest into northern Mexico.The third novel, `Cities of the Plains', opens in the early 1950s with Cole and Parham together at a ranch in New Mexico, just north of El Paso.

`It was vaquero country and other men's troubles were alien to it and that was about all that could be said.'

Of the three novels, my favourite is `The Crossing': Billy Parham's doomed attempt to take a trapped female wolf `home' to Mexico.Billy's fight to save this wolf is heroic but like so much else in Billy's life does not succeed.In `All the Pretty Horses' John Grady Cole's search to find the owner of Jimmy Blevins's horse is also a doomed quest.And yet, the story itself is a masterpiece and a tribute to a way of life - a culture - fast disappearing. In `Cities of the Plains', the way of life John Cole and Billy Parham are familiar with is coming to an end.The Army will be taking over the land.John has fought - and lost - his own battle to extricate his beloved from her life as a prostitute, and Billy Parham is alone.Again.Or still.

The fates of Billy Parham and John Grady Cole are inescapable.Their existence is simply an infinitesimal part of an infinite whole: the journeyers are less important than their journeys.

`Our privileged view into this one night of this man's history presses upon us the realization that all knowledge is a borrowing and every fact a debt.'

I am haunted by these stories.There is a power in the writing quite separate from the events being described that had me enthralled for hours. And yet there is nothing neat and tidy about the prose, nothing polished and complete about the journey.The people are in most ways far less important than the landscape they occupy and the times they live in - at least in my reading.

`The world was made new each day and it was only men's clinging to its vanished husks that could make of that world one husk more.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

2-0 out of 5 stars A boy story for a boy's mind.
The Border trilogy as a whole creates a romanticised, ephemeral vision of Mexico and the West while simultaneously working against cowboy stereotypes, which creates an uncomfortable tension between generic expectations and textual realism. His cowboys do cowboy things; they are in love with Mexican girls and they talk to their horses, but they also talk about the war and love and religion. McCarthy is clearly a man in love with the western landscape and he follows in much the same literary tradition as Willa Cather, without so much moralizing. He seems unwilling to settle comfortably into the genre, which is what makes his novels compelling in the first place. They tell what you already knew about the wild west from childhood stories, but then he often reminds you that these lives are real, the west is real and life there is difficult. Cowboy legends are problematic for the people who have to live them, and they never end well. The trilogy itself works as an exploration of the evolution of the cowboy genre; in All the Pretty Horses, the West is unconquered and there's still love and adventure to be had. By Cities on the Plain, cowboys have become 'dogropers' and the atom bomb enters the scene. The cowboys can't win, but McCarthy doggedly sticks with the sexism and racism inherent in the western genre. McCarthy transforms the west and western legends into things and spaces that they are not. Not everything is the stuff of cowboy legend, not all lives are 'western' lives. I don't know what to make of it; I can't decide if I should protest this inauthenticity, or if I should go along with it and talk about the beauty of the expanse of the southern desert like everyone else who's ever written about the desert does. It's still there, even if it's generally outside my day to day suburban life. You can't avoid the mounatins or the dry air or the red earth, but I don't always stop to remember how many people dream about it and think about it yet have no idea that it's really there.

3-0 out of 5 stars McCarthy: Way too morbid and fatalistic for me.Sorry.
After reading The Road, The Border Trilogy and No Country for Old Men, only because someone said it was better than the book, I'm done!I'm not one for soapy illogical happy endings but damn, it would be nice to a good character make it all the way to the end of the book.I think Mr. McCarthy is a little self indulgent in his use of exotic vocabulary and metaphors and tends to wander from the plot with philisophical and artistic ramblings.If you have the patience to wade through all of the pages every now and then you will come across a snipit that really grabs you.The only problem is they are way too few and far between.Just not my style I guess.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesomeness!
This was a gift for my husband.Books are great!Excellent condition. Thanks

1-0 out of 5 stars border trilogy
It took 29 days for it to arrive. at least it was in good, new condition.

... Read more

6. Outer Dark
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 256 Pages (1993-06-29)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679728732
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Outer Dark is a novel at once fabular and starkly evocative, set is an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century.A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes.Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son.Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

3-0 out of 5 stars My least favorite McCarthy novel
Outer Dark starts off in a rotten pit of despair and proceeds down a depressing road that grows ever darker and concludes with a gut-wrenching thud.I know I shouldn't take the story at face value and ignore the sub-texts and themes that exist here, but when you have a story this gloomy and unredeemable it's hard to ignore.To me, this book makes Blood Meridian seem bright and cheery.

I have given the book 3 stars because I am a fan of McCarthy and his mastery of the written word is ever-present here.However, I cannot recommend this book to anyone, and I have recommended many of McCarthy's books in the past..I now need to go reread the Border Trilogy to wash the bad taste of Outer Dark out of my head.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Just a Good Title
This book hints at profound wisdom, and it's dramatized expertly, but that's all highly esoteric and there's not much reason to go into the finer points here.

McCarthy has got the idiom of this bygone language down.It's often interesting to think why the characters choose the vocabulary they do, and it tells you something about the strong, silent type of masculinity, and the charming, gentle femininity that prevails (-/prevailed) in the West.

The lack of quotation marks isn't really confusing, and makes for an improved aesthetic experience (which, frankly, all phonetic-alphabet/Indo-European languages can use, with the possible exception of Arabic) (something will be lost when China takes up the Latin alphabet like South-East Asia).

The writing is highly ambitious, and tries hard to be the definitive last-word on this vale of tears -- you might almost say it was over-written.But things that try hard are good, because they sometimes succeed, in attaining great heights of achievement, and this book is one of the happy examples that do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
As with every McCarthy book, this is an excellent, but very deep read. It will bring up several emotions and I only recommend his books to mature adults who can handle the pain in McCarthy's books.

4-0 out of 5 stars "they's darksome ways afoot in this world"
Outer Dark will perplex you, amaze you, confound you, and impress you. In his second novel, McCarthy has fashioned a tale both deceptively simple and profoundly complex. The story, propelled by the disappearance of a baby--the product of incest, manages to examine grand questions of good and evil, luck and spirituality, destiny and free will, and ultimately, the very core of human nature. McCarthy delights in ambiguity (at times, I doubted whether some of the characters were even human) and understatement--what is left unsaid in this novel is probably more important than what is said--and what is said is sparse, lyrical, and poetic. Although the book runs a mere 242 pages, McCarthy packs his carefully chosen words with enough profundity and complexity to fill up a book twice this size--he is a master of narrative economy. The reader must work, must focus, must contribute to the creation of this piece of literary art. McCarthy does not (purposely, one presumes) describe some of the major events in this story. McCarthy does not tell this tale completely chronologically. McCarthy does not spell everything out for his reader. McCarthy does, however, trust his readers to co-create this story. Any description of the plot would be insufficient, because ultimately it's the themes, the ideas that matter. If you allow him to, McCarthy will simply take your breath away.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sparse, brutal, strangely incomplete
Cormac likes his gothic blood-letting. This book is no exception. An earlier work, it has little of the grandiosity of Blood Meridian (though there are some incredibly lyrical passages IE similes comparing the characters to a cast of alien vaudevillians pirouetting through a menacing landscape as though through a dream lens, those never get old). The story is simple. Brother knocks up Sister, hides baby in the woods, Tinker finds baby, takes off. Sister goes to look for Tinker. Brother goes to look for Sister. Meanwhile, band a three oddball killers are striking through the forest, gutting folks at random. The novel sort of meanders with the brother constantly looking for work from people he meets, or getting into trouble sleeping in what he believes are un-owned houses. The Sister spends most of her time asking about her "chap", witnessing other couples' states of disarray. Cormac's prose captures beautifully the sinful sweep of the world in what we assume to be the early 1900s. There is a sense of perfectly rendered desolation, like the Road but with trees and plant life! The details however are pretty vague. We don't know the time period, the motivation for the killers (we assume it is only a kind of insatiable anarchic glee that drives them) and so on. Also the fates of a couple characters are sort of left hanging, as the book just ends ALA No Country For Old Men, though not as abrupt. All-in-all, the book is short, dark, enthralling, but it is not quite as deep and amusing as Blood Meridian, nor as sparse and electric as The Road. I like it more than No Country, I think. It reads sort of like a gothic fairy tale, where there aren't many likable characters, some bizarre allegorical scenarios, lots of murders (though not compared to Blood Meridian--though most books cannot compare) etc. If you are a fan of old Cormac, give this one a shot. It is wry, poetic, nightmarish. Don't expect a happy ending. ... Read more

7. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Modern Library)
by Cormac McCarthy
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2001-01-02)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679641041
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable."

Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf.

"A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers."Amazon.com Review
"The men as they rode turned black in the sun from theblood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in therising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land throughwhich they passed." If what we call "horror" can beseen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subjectmatter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation,the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresqueWestern about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexicoborder in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led byan unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imaginethe imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written byWilliam Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel'spower. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy whojoins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this isan American classic about extreme violence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (407)

5-0 out of 5 stars Blood Meridian for sure.
I bought this to have my own copy of the book. I read it first from the local library, and kept coming back to it in my mind because I knew I didn't get it all. Second time through it, I know I still did not get it all - and I doubt that anyone will, really, regardless of all the talking and writing and thinking literary people may do forever after.

It is a fantasy, for sure, populated with fantastic characters, but I really think that the fantasy created in the book is more nearly reality than most histories.

Things happen in combat zones that are unexplainable, fantastic, not bounded by what people think of as reality in any way. Motivations aren't relevant, conduct, either. Maybe this is a part of what he is getting at - I don't know. That's one thing I get from it, anyhow. Far as the Judge vs. The Kid - you could write a book on that relationship and never get it down totally.

I'll tell you one thing, though. The Judge is more nearly correct than most, when he's talking about war, and humans, and the universe.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lazy author
I have enjoyed other books by this author, but I felt abused by Blood Meridian. It consists of a series of almost unconnected scenes of unspeakable violence. There, now you know the book. There is very little story. It reminds me of an awful book by Clancy, I don't recall the name if it, but he based it on some submarine video game he had played with a friend one night. He then just wrote it up and sold it to me as a book. "Open the outer doors." "Outer doors open, sir." On and on. Submarine battle after battle. The complete opposite of his great Hunt for Red October. In that same way, I thought this book the inverse of All The Pretty Horses, which I found to be a wonderful book. There was extreme violence in that book too, but there was much more to the story than violence.In Blood Meridian, you are forced to travel with a continually shrinking band of men who ride and walk from violent scene to scene...and that's it. After a while you see that the only energy the author has put into the book is trying to come up with ever more imaginative ways for his characters to mutilate human beings. The author covers up the lack of a real story with flowery language that reminds me of Bob Dylan's 120 decibel backup musicians on his current tour, trying to drown out the sad fact that Bob plainly can't sing anymore.I'm sorry, but everyone saying how this is a great book is just the Emperor' Clothes. This is a great writer being lazy and skating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Introduction spoiler
This is certainly a very disturbing book. I enjoyed it as I do most of his books. I am only writing this review to warn all those who buy the book not to read the Introduction until after reading the book. I was absolutely furious that Harold Bloom would give away the ending of the story in his Intro. I can't tell you how much it ruined the story. One last thing:

3-0 out of 5 stars Three and a half stars
A warning to readers: this is a violent book!I felt like the violence was always in my face but my brother claims he felt like the violence snuck up on him in places - one minute he was reading about scenery and the next he was reading about raids.Regardless, just know that there is a lot of killing and violence, though I wouldn't call it gratuitous, McCarthy does use it as part of his story.
The story itself follows "The Kid" (we never get a real name) as he leaves home and ultimately joins a group of bounty hunters hired to rid the area of Indians.Eventually their thirst for violence takes over and they become out of control.It's as if a monster is created.This book is the story of that monster.

I enjoy McCarthy's prose and I don't feel my time was wasted reading this book but I definitely enjoyed some other of his books better.I feel that either Blood Meridian was overrated or my standards were too high after other McCarthy books.However I did enjoy the epilogue.

1-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Overrated
Blood Meridian has been called one of the best books of the twentieth century.Critics of no less stature than James Wood and Harold Bloom have lavish exceptional praise upon it - HB in his typical fashion compares the judge to the terrible Iago (for him literary characters are only footnotes to those of the Bard: no villain is not an Iago, no madman not a Richard III, no clown not a Falstaff, no savage not a Caliban, no contemplative not a Hamlet).I certainly admire and respect these two critics, which is why I found their enthusiasm for BM exceptionally puzzling.For I have never suffered so much as a reader than when I had it in my hands.

Let's begin with Cormac McCarthy's control of the English language.It is abominable: for there are times when it even seems as though English were not McCarthy's first language ("It had narrowly missed the carotid artery yet he could not make the blood to stop.""The hanged men at their rope-ends looked like effigies for to frighten birds." "Nor did the judge lose the opportunity to ventilate himself upon the ferric nature of heavenly bodies and their powers and claims.") and others when CM not only staggers but positively crashes into his own hyper-inflamed eloquence ("The earth fell away on every side equally in its arcature and by these limits were they circumscribed and of them were they locus.""[The horsemen were] like beings provoked out of the absolute rock and set nameless and at no remove from their own loomings to wander ravenous and doomed and mute as gorgons shambling the brutal wastes of Gondawanaland in a time before nomenclature was and each was all.") .And I hardly have to remind the reader of CM's almost perverse affection for the word "and" (J.M. Myers has rightly entitled these long, snaking sentences made up of short declaratives repetitively chained together by the word "and" the "andelope").The most famous of this sort of sentence in BM is the extended monstrosity that occurs at the end of chapter four, where the Comanches attack the kid and his posse.What utterly astounds me is that the admirers of BM list its incredibly vivid descriptions of violence as among the novel's exceptional qualities ("A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," says Micheal Herr) and cite the above passage as one of the greatest achievements of this sort. But I cannot fathom how a writer of any talent could have failed to perceive that this unimaginably gory description of gunfire, disembowelment, scalping and sodomy had already spun out of his control before it was even underway, that spraying such dense clouds of horrors so unrelentingly at the reader would not only fail to produce shock but cause everything to degenerate into unintentional farce.And that is always the way it is throughout BM: every page, every paragraph, every sentence strives for such intensity, the sum effect of which is to cause the prose collapse on itself and become insipid and unbearably tedious.With CM everything is driven to the highest possible pitch: a man dancing wildly is a "wild thaumaturge out of an atavistic drama"; and one does not listen to a heartbeat but to the "systole of the rubymeated hearts that hung within them." If CM is indeed the disciple of Faulkner then he surely inherits Alfred Kazin's criticism of that same author: that "no writer ever seemed so ambitious and so purposeless; so overwhelming in imagination and so thwarted in his application of it." He is the worst embodiment of the stylistic excesses which are all-too ubiquitous in contemporary American fiction.

The judge, however, is undoubtedly an achievement.Without him BM couldn't stand on its own.He is a thrilling character: one of those who forever elude us but who nonetheless still produces a terrifying resonance.He is much bigger and deeper than Blicero: Blicero is a mere depravity, a perversion of advanced civilization, but the judge straddles the entire span between high culture and animal bestiality.We see him one moment in the man of the world's professional attire and the next in a hat of mud and a suit of flesh.Yet he is no mere lunatic or murderer, he is beyond simple savagery: he is pure annihilation, pure Night.This is how he talks: "That man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.""Only that man who has offered himself up entirely to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit and seen horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his inmost heart, only that man can dance."Here CM seems to transform: he is not trying to dazzle or overwhelm; he knows exactly what he wants to say and how to say it and he lets the meaning reveal itself through the language.There are several other passages of such calm, striking beauty scattered throughout which so stand out from the panting descriptions of violence and desolate landscapes that it seems as though the hands of two different authors can be recognized. I wish the man who created the judge had also written the rest of the book.
... Read more

8. The Crossing: Border Trilogy (2)
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 432 Pages (1995-03-14)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679760849
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth.

In the late 1930s, sixteen-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been marauding his family's ranch.But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico.With that crossing, he begins an arduous and often dreamlike journey into a country where men meet ghosts and violence strikes as suddenly as heat-lightning--a world where there is no order "save that which death has put there."

An essential novel by any measure, The Crossing is luminous and appalling, a book that touches, stops, and starts the heart and mind at once.Amazon.com Review
The opening section of The Crossing, book two of theBorder Trilogy, features perhaps the most perfectly realizedstorytelling of Cormac McCarthy's celebrated career. Like All the PrettyHorses, this volume opens with a teenager's decision to slipaway from his family's ranch into Mexico. In this case, the boy isBilly Parham, and the catalyst for his trip is a wolf he and hisfather have trapped, but that Billy finds himself unwilling toshoot. His plan is to set the animal loose down south instead.

This is a McCarthy novel, not Old Yeller, and soBilly's trek inevitably becomes more ominous than sweet. It boastssome chilling meditations on the simple ferocity McCarthy sees asnecessary for all creatures who aim to continue living. But Billy isMcCarthy's most loving--and therefore damageable--character, and hisstory has its own haunted melancholy.

Billy eventually returns to his ranch. Then, finding himself and hisworld changed, he returns to Mexico with his younger brother, and thebook begins meandering. Though full of hypnotically barren landscapesand McCarthy's trademark western-gothic imagery (like the soldier whosucks eyes from sockets), these latter stages become tedious at times,thanks partly to the female characters, who exist solely as ghosts tohaunt the men.

But that opening is glorious, and the whole book finally transcendsits shortcomings to achieve a grim and poignant grandeur. --GlenHirshberg ... Read more

Customer Reviews (102)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Crossing
Until I read this book, Mccarthy's several other novels had impressed me. The Crossing is tedious and often illogical regarding plot and motives of Billy, the protagonist. Far too many stories of other people's lives that have nothing to do with imtegrity of the plot. This novel seems to be looking futively to relate SOMETHIG, but fails.

5-0 out of 5 stars McCarthy's Genius
Cormac McCarthy is a man who knows simply everything. He knows a lot more than I do, and I know everything!

Unlike men who know everything, however, the author Cormac McCarthy makes no display of erudition. Rather he presents the everything Mr. McCarthy knows in seamless streaming without compartmentalizing, without categorizing or naming. He presents his everything as the world presents itself to the each of us as we live through and so construct our own lives. This is inspired by a Heraclitean flow; nothing remains the same and the only reality is change. This is based on a Democritean view of the world: there is nothing real in the world but the person is forced by his own nature, human habits and conventions to lend things form and meaning.

Having read all of important American and much English, French and German literature, I stand in awe of both the man McCarthy and the author by the same name. In my book he is peerless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absorbing
Set just before the Second World War, sixteen year old Billy Parham is living with his parents and younger brother on a ranch in New Mexico. The appearance of a wolf in the area captivates Billy's imagination, and when he eventually traps the animal, on an impulse he decides to take it back into Mexico from whence it came. However when he eventually returns to the family ranch it is not as he left it. He journeys into Mexico twice more, once with his younger brother, and then again at the age or twenty.

The Crossing, the second book in the Border Trilogy, is a gripping, and often moving account of a young boy's adventures and troubles. While filled with minute detail words are never wasted, and McCarthy's only use of punctuation is the full stop, and even that is used with economy. Billy's story is occasionally interspersed with the stories of others, such as that of the ageing blind man.

A lot of the dialogue is in Spanish, and there are no translations, but that does not seem to interfere with or hamper one's understanding. The Crossing is a most absorbing and memorable read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Stylish and atmospheric?Yes.Good read?Well,...
'The Crossing' is part two of a trilogy by Cormac McCarthy.However in truth it can stand on its own; no need to read part one.Like part one, it is about young American boys who live along the US-Mexican border and find themselves in (mis-)adventure over in Mexico.All this takes place in the first half of the twentieth century.The author makes Mexico look like it was totally corrupt and lawless, and perhaps indeed it was.And also like part one, 'The Crossing' has a copious amount of untranslated Spanish dialogue sprinkled throughout.While of course this adds tremendously from the perspective of realism it only detracts from reading enjoyment, at least for this reader who doesn't understand Spanish.

'The Crossing' is a rambling story that sort of goes on aimlessly to a tragic conclusion.Unfortunately I never really connected to the characters; I never felt the emotional punch the author intended to give.

Bottom line: too much atmosphere with little in the way of emotion or purpose left this reader wishing the reading experience would end sooner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tragic, captivating, lyrically pure
As a reader, when you know you're cracking open a novel by a living "master," you sometimes tend to put unfair expectations on it. Occasionally, you end up disappointed when it doesn't live up to its reputation. With this novel, however, I reached a point where I didn't care who had written the book. I realized I was no longer merely enjoying a good read, but was allowing the novel's depth of language and deeply emotive themes to speak to me directly.

One of film critic Roger Ebert's recent blog entries discusses the concept of "frisson," a French word meaning "a brief intense reaction, usually a feeling of excitement, recognition, or terror." This sounds a little melodramatic, but I found myself experiencing several frissons reading "The Crossing," moments where I hesitated continuing because I wanted to revel in the captivating, lyrically pure passage at hand.

There are passages that will catch you off-guard and inspire you, regardless of the subject matter:

"He looked up. His pale hair looked white. He looked fourteen going on some age that never was. He looked as if he'd been sitting there and God had made the trees and rocks around him. He looked like his own reincarnation and then his own again. Above all else, he looked to be filled with a terrible sadness. As if he harbored news of some horrendous loss that no one else had heard of yet. Some vast tragedy not of fact or incident or event but of the way the world was."

"The indians were dark almost to blackness and their reticence and their silence bespoke a view of a world provisional, contingent, deeply suspect. They had about them a wary absorption, as if they observed some hazardous truce. They seemed in a state of improvident and hopeless vigilance. Like men committed upon uncertain ice."

Mind you, though "The Crossing" is ultimately a tragic story, there are places where love and light find their way through, like water through the tiny openings of a sieve. I've come to appreciate McCarthy's dry sense of humor which he peppers throughout the very dark subject matter, mainly within the corn-fed conversations between Billy Parham and his brother Boyd.

"You worry about everthing. But that don't change nothin. Does it?
....Boyd shook his head. I don't know, he said. I don't know how it would of turned out if I hadn't worried."

Later, the brothers rescue a Mexican girl from bandits:

"She don't speak no english, does she?
Hell no. How would she speak english?
...Don't be cussin in front of her.
I said don't be cussin in front of her.
You just now got done sayin she dont speak no english.
That don't make it not cussin."

Though few and far between, these lighthearted moments are a nice reprieve from the sadness that pervades the story. And once again, McCarthy uses the setting as its very own character, reflecting both the evil and the goodness that wrestle for superiority in the depths of humanity's soul.

As I've meandered through McCarthy's canon, starting with "The Road" and moving backward, I've come to realize he's a master of the "bildungsroman," the coming-of-age story. And here, it's grief that casts Billy Parham onto the road to maturity. There are parts that are simply and utterly heartwrenching to read.

The first line of Section II effectively reveals the essence and the heart of the entire novel: "Doomed enterprises divide lives forever into the then and the now." Gird up your emotions for this one. You risk being transformed by this searing, extraordinary tale. ... Read more

9. The Sunset Limited
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 61 Pages (2007-06-30)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$5.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822222108
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made.

In that small apartment, “Black” and “White,” as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history, mining the origins of two fundamentally opposing world views. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men–though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is desperate to deny it.

Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life.

Deft, spare, and full of artful tension, The Sunset Limited is a beautifully crafted, consistently thought-provoking, and deceptively intimate work by one of the most insightful writers of our time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Miniature
Cormac McCarthy's opus is a truly impressive work, both in terms of the sheer number of works of fiction and the variety of topics and situations that are tackled in it. In this short play we are faced with two characters, unimaginatively called Black and White because of their skin color. These characters come across each other in the most dramatic of ways: Black saves White during a suicide attempt. The entire play is condensed in a single act that takes place after the dramatic rescue. The reader plays witness to the conversation between these two characters in Black's sparsely furnished Brooklyn apartment. As Black tries to prevent White from a repeated suicide attempt, the conversation quickly evolves in the direction of "big" questions: the meaning of life and the existence of God. Black is originally from the South, and has had many run-ins with the law. It is only while serving a prison sentence for one of his more violent crimes that he has an epiphany that rekindles his own religious spirit. White, on the other hand, is a well educated college professor and an atheist, who has very little sympathy not only for God but for most other human beings as well. He seems to espouse an extremely nihilistic view of the world that throughout the play Black tries to shake him out of. The struggle between White and Black proceeds through a lengthy dialogue that stretches across the entirety of the play. Despite the apparent vast disparity between their educational and intellectual levels, Black holds his own in this battle of wits with White. However, in the end (just like in real life) it is not clear whether these persuasive arguments are successful in converting each other.

The topics covered in this very short play are among the most difficult and contentious ones that writers and philosophers have grappled with since time immemorial. This very familiarity, however, is what makes these themes very difficult to deal with in a new and fresh way, but remarkably enough McCarthy manages to do just that. The allegories and symbolism that he uses could have easily been regarded as trite and cloying, yet he shows a lot of talent and intellectual finesse in preventing them from becoming cheap tricks. By using the most rudimentary and worn-out writing and dramatic devices, he manages to create something original and inspiring. This short play is a testament to his genius.

3-0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars: Deep, but could use some more plot.
A black man saves a white professor from jumping in front of a subway train.They go back to the black man's apartment and have a discussion about the importance or irrelevance of life.This is THE SUNSET LIMITED.

This one-act play is an enjoyable read, but it is far from McCarthy's best work.The problem is lack of plot; the play itself is really just one long conversation.Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing; McCarthy's novels have shown a knack for dialogue.But we tend to like a little plot with our stories, even when those come in 60 pages and dramatic format.Still, for die-hard Cormac McCarthy fans, THE SUNSET LIMITED is a must-read; it comes off as a bit more theological (and I mean that in a non-religious sense) than the rest of his work, but it's still a deep, pleasant read, filled with some thought-provoking concepts and a great ending.Even for general literature fans, it's a good read; whatever Cormac McCarthy writes is worth your perusal.

On a side note: buyer, be aware of what you are getting.The Dramatists Play Service Inc. edition of THE SUNSET LIMITED is a perfectly bound paper-covered edition.It's not what we tend to think of as professionally bound; this is the kind of book you might get from an independent literary journal without a large circulation.Maybe this doesn't matter to you; hopefully it doesn't.But it was a surprise to me, and so I figured I would make it clear what you get for your money.The play itself is what counts, of course, and that's worth your money and your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
This was a simple two-man dialog in play form. Or was it simple? Black and white go into many important questions, but do not provide pat answers. something to think about for a long time.

4-0 out of 5 stars McCarthy's View Of Life & Death, Hanging By A Thread
Cormac McCarthy never disappoints.

I was able to sit down and read this in two hours, completely drawn in. Written like a good conversation, it's hard not to overhear. Perfect for any McCarthy fan.

2-0 out of 5 stars The skeleton of a good story
I am a fan of McCarthy's other work, but I found this play to be pointless.

While Black is fleshed out well, the White character does not have any realistic motivations for his actions or statements. Despite being a professor he seems quite stupid and clueless. He is filled with unrealistic contradictions. Throughout the play I just could not help but feel that this would never happen.

Perhaps if the characters were more developed and White had a stronger backstory then his actions would be more believable, but that would ruin the whole "Richard Cory" premise. ... Read more

10. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, Book 1)
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 301 Pages (1993-06-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$5.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679744398
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself.With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.Amazon.com Review
Part bildungsroman, part horse opera, part meditation on courageand loyalty, this beautifully crafted novel won the National Book Award in1992. The plot is simple enough. John Grady Cole, a 16-year-old dispossessedTexan, crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico in 1949, accompanied by his palLacey Rawlins. The two precocious horsemen pick up a sidekick--a laughablebut deadly marksman named Jimmy Blevins--encounter various adventures ontheir way south and finally arrive at a paradisiacal hacienda where Colefalls into an ill-fated romance. Readers familiar with McCarthy's Faulknerianprose will find the writing more restrained than in Suttree and Blood Meridian. Newcomers willbe mesmerized by the tragic tale of John Grady Cole's coming of age. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (334)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning achievement - gripping story - beautiful
I am a big McCarthy so thi smay be biased, but this is a fantastic book. Awesome environmental descriptions, you can almost smell the air on the plains. Main character perfectly realized, twists, turns and tragedy. Not your everyday western.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, well suited to Hemmingway fans
This was the first McCarthy book I read, and I found it riveting.The writing and the action are deeply engaging.I'm a big Hemmingway fan, especially For Whom the Bell Tolls, and this book reminded me of that story, somehow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cormac McCarthy Reads Like Poetry
I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road first, and loved it so much that I picked up All the Pretty Horses soon thereafter. McCarthy's flat, distinctive prose reads like poetry, and several passages were so breathlessly beautiful that I went back to read them again and again.

All the Pretty Horses exists at a crossroads, both old west and new, as Cole and Rawlins leave their small town in Texas in 1949 to cross into Mexico at ages 16 and 17 looking for adventure. Along the way they meet up with Blevins, an even younger runaway who tries to recover his horse after losing it in a lightning storm. They end up being chased by the Mexican authorities, working on a ranch, breaking horses, falling in love, getting thrown in prison, and learning about the good, the bad, the old, and the new of life along the way.

Truly this is a book to savor, and at the end I wished that it would go on. I am now looking forward to reading the rest of the Border Trilogy. Cormac McCarthy's writing is a national treasure, and will live on forever in all those who read it. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret
This is afantastic story - powerful, amusing, and moving. McCarthy has such a great way of engaging the reader by alternating between being economical with his prose during one moment, and gushing the next. This novel contains narrative so powerful and beautiful that I could scarcely believe they were hidden within a western novel.

1-0 out of 5 stars MUCHO--MUCHO----SPANISH

11. No Country for Old Men (Vintage International)
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 320 Pages (2007-10-09)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307387135
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (490)

3-0 out of 5 stars Very Little Flesh and Blood Amongst the Carnage
I picked up my first Cormac McCarthy novel in 1995. It was Blood Meridian. As good as it was, something about it felt incomplete. Over the years, I have read 6 more books by McCarthy, including this one. They all seemed to have something missing, but I couldn't put my finger on it. When I read this book, it hit me. All the characters are archetypes. They are not fully formed three-dimensional human beings. The natural world that surrounds them is much richer in thought than they are. Perhaps that's the point. I'm not sure, but it is ultimately unsatisfying. I wish that weren't true because Cormac is one of the most talented writers of the English language that I've ever read. Frankly, though I just need a little more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great story
I really loved Cormac McCarthy's 'Child of God', but that was published decades ago. So by now the author's perceptions might have changed, for good or ill. 'NCFOM' has a great story no doubt, compelling characters and a suitably evocative setting in West Texas. But in the end, as many have reiterated in earlier reviews, the story runs out of steam--the protagonist is gone by 3/4 (which is a nice touch from a technical and philosophical POV), and we are left with the internal ruminations of a distressed, aging county sheriff. Not that there's anything wrong with it: Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Terrell County Sheriff, World War II hero) is an honest law enforcement officer; he accepts it as his duty to protect the citizens of his county, which he sets out to do when one of his 'brethren'--Llwelyn Moss, a welder and Vietnam veteran--gets entangled in the aftermath of a dope deal gone wrong. Now, the bothersome aspect is that our kind Sheriff's monologues are politically conservative--which I found was very discouraging, specially coming from a intelligent man like Cormac McCarthy. Clearly, Bell is on the Red side and his thoughts against women getting abortions (something blatantly hinted at) and 'our' west Texas streets being populated with youngsters with 'green hair and bones in their noses'; not to mention towards the end, when Bell recalls seeing Moss's father, who gleefully states that his son 'smacked the tar out of one or two of 'em hippies' after coming home from Vietnam. But then again, this story IS set in the 1980's and in a Southwest state of America (in fact one of the characters, Carson Welles states explicitly about Bell: 'He's a redneck sheriff in a hick town in a hick county. In a hick state'). Maybe McCarthy is just evoking the era and not himself, which is somehwhat doubtful. Anyway, all in all it is a great thriller; even though McCarthy seems to have went overboard with the monologues of Bell as the story drew to a close; some of it could've been edited out. But there's plenty of punchy, witty dialog and suspense to keep this from a being bad novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel by a future Nobel Laureate
"No Country for Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy is atmospheric, absorbing, often frightening and totally believable. Which would be enough to recommend any novel, but McCarthy's prose is sublime to boot. I'm not a huge fan of the ending (or the movie adaptation, for that matter), but it's still one of the best novels I've read in ages. I think the only book of McCarthy's that's better is The Road.

(Note also: McCarthy's writing style has changed a lot since the complicated metaphor-heavy days of Blood Meridian. If you were put off McCarthy because of his early writing, give his later stuff a try.)

5-0 out of 5 stars `If the rule you followed led you to this of what use was the rule?'
Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, stumbles across a drug deal gone horribly wrong.Amongst the dead bodies and abandoned vehicles he finds one badly wounded man who asks for water.Moss responds that he doesn't have any, and continues searching.He finds heroin, and then finds a man, dead beneath a tree with a caseload of cash.Moss chooses to take the money, and thus begins a chain of events which cannot then be stopped. Moss may be an opportunistic thief, but he is not totally without conscience.Later he returns to the scene with water for the dying man only to find that he has been murdered.Moss is seen, and the ensuing chase is the beginning of a hunt which forms much of the balance of the novel.

`Somewhere out there is a true and living prophet of destruction, and I don't want to confront him.'

The other central characters are: Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, a man haunted by aspects of his own past, who investigates the drug crime.Anton Chigurh, a murderer with his own absolutist code of honour who is tracking the money.Both converge on Moss.Bell is trying to make amends for the past by protecting his community while Chigurh will murder almost everyone who tries to prevent him from recovering the money. Chigurh is the most enigmatic of the three.We are not privy to his motivation, and the few insights we get into his justification is unsettling.Chigurh is relentless, self-sufficient and utterly focussed.

`When I came into your life your life was over.'

Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is the closest to a hero that the novel possesses, but the world is changing in ways he is not comfortable with, and he is hampered by memories of the past. Bell tries to help Moss and his wife Carla Jean but they are naive about what they are facing and by the time Bell puzzles out all of the clues it is too late.

It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this novel and to appreciate the broader issues behind the regional setting.I found this an unsettling novel because the ending is not a conclusion.

`I don't know where you're at because I don't know who you are.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

3-0 out of 5 stars Dull,Dry, See The Movie Instead.
Forget the book, See the movie.The movie is a brilliant piece of cinema...up until the end:one of the most frustratingly terrible endings in movie history.That horrible ending marred an almost perfect movie,so I bought the book,thinking that, surely it was not originally written that way.But I was wrong...the book is exactly like the movie.But worse.

Yeah, I know,Cormac McCarthy is one of America's most revered authors, but this book reads like a newspaper article.The matter-of-fact style has no feelings, no emotions,no suspense,no characters that you care about.It's confusing,because the story starts and revolves around the main character who steals some drug money and the bad guys who are chasing him to get it back.But,clearly the book was written for the sheriff,whose only role in the book,and the movie,is to simply mumble numerous soliloquies using that stupid idiosyncratic texas mumbo jumbo.He adds absolutely nothing to the plot,but yet,somehow he's the central character???I don't get it.

The book ends just like the movie:terribly.
So,forget this book;it is dry and dull;characters are lifeless.The movie is excellent,filled with great acting,suspense,danger...but yet that god dammed ending... ... Read more

12. The Orchard Keeper
by Cormac McCarthy
 Paperback: 246 Pages (1993-02-02)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679728724
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An American classic, The Orchard Keeper is the first novel by one of America's finest novelists and author of the critically acclaimed national bestseller All the Pretty Horses. Set in a small, remote community in rural Tennessee, it tells the story of a young boy and the outlaw bootlegger who, unbeknownst to either of them, has killed the boy's father. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars very pleased
Quick delivery ,new book and cheaper price than if I purchased in new zealand -even with the shipping costs added to original price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting to start at the beginning
I started reading McCarthy with "The Border Trilogy" and next "The Road." I was pleased to find his early novels available and am reading them starting with the first, "The Orchard Keeper." His language is what draws me. Even as dark as his writing is, how he expresses things is a magnet to me. This is a wonderful slice of life and you can see some trends that he follows in books written decades later. Very worthy reading. His mastery of scene and dialect is marvelous.

5-0 out of 5 stars Glorious Sour Apples from McCarthy
To read this book is to peer through a lattice fence, snatching at a fragmented scene and trying to make a whole.One should not feel foolish reading a 5 page scene six times; arranging the pieces so they interlock lends a sense of investment and triumph.McCarthy employees the reader's wit and perseverance, much like what is asked of his characters.His sentences are incredibly melodious and poetic, intended for thoughtful chewing.Every word is a skin surrounding tart fruit surrounding a core with seeds and more often than not an ashen worm.

The Orchard Keeper so immediately transports one to the poverty riddled back roads of a 1930s Tennessee, it takes your breath away and replaces it with the redolence of slums, sweat, sticky bars, nettled woods, and hog houses.McCarthy can't resist the romantic notions of whiskey smuggling, back-woods panther legends, corrupt law enforcement, criminals by necessity, racism, murder, and ruined innocence.While speaking the truth of seedy scenes, he also celebrates equanimously with a rare assemblage of words.These ruthless, bountiful southern woods and forgotten, cursed people, even the scowling cat, he adores and crowns them with the skill of his craft.

Most intriguing is how McCarthy stitches together a story where the characters circumambulate one another, some spiraling together so that they walk side by side, while others never meet face to face yet share the same wall listening to one another's movements.McCarthy seems to be creating a situation where both the characters and the reader only get glimpses of one another and cannot make out their full connection as a community.Somehow, all the while, he hints we are inextricably linked.

This is McCarthy's first novel; the sentences are profound but not as epic and endless as later books (such as Suttree or The Road), more digestible, still wondrous.The only bits lacking in this book are strong women and conversations using proper grammar.

As for the frequent comparison made between Faulkner and McCarthy, I have this to say.McCarthy is writing about a starkness, a stumbling of which he is quite intimate (the writing attests to this, as well as his biography). There is much more intent of amusement in a Faulkner story, you feel the presence of an erudite man of means laying out a manicured picnic for the enjoyment of his company. In opposition, McCarthy walks right over the checkered blanket and disc of pate with his gritty river marred boots to present a personal testimony of fortitude in the face of adversity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Poetic Potential
Cormac McCarthy's first novel is rich in atmosphere, tone, and character--the plot, however, is rather spare. That's not necessarily a shortcoming, but it's an aspect of the novel that might disappoint readers who expect a densely developed plot or a great deal of action. Nothing much happens in "The Orchard Keeper," but what does happen occurs through the complex lens of shaded and only partially informed perspectives, which creates in the tale the uncertainties and tensions that we encounter through our own very real but very limited perspectives. At times, I wasn't sure what was going on, but I think that kind of ambiguity was purposeful and intentional. At a number of points in this short novel, I found myself wishing that I were a student in a class that was reading this--I need someone with whom I can talk about this novel. It's one of those works of literature that seems to require a communal effort in order to arrive at some sort of understanding of just what's going on with the characters and the (admittedly meager) plot. McCarthy's prose bursts with abundant descriptive detail, and he shows great promise for the mastery that he will develop later in his literary career. Those who admire poetic narration and enjoy rustic characters in a bucolic setting will like this book--if you're looking for dense plotting and an engrossing story, you'd be well advised to search for that elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible, slow gibberish
Although I have favorably reviewed this author's later work, including The Road, this novel just did not resonate in my mind and soul.Though one could see sparks of his writing process, this early work was plodding and confusing.Gave it 60 pages and could not take it anymore. ... Read more

13. A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy
Paperback: 272 Pages (2001-10-03)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$17.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578064015
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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With essays by Edwin T. Arnold, J. Douglas Canfield, Christine Chollier, George Guillemin, Dianne C. Luce, Jacqueline Scoones, Phillip A. Snyder, Nell Sullivan, and John Wegner

The completion of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy--All the Pretty Horses (1992), The Crossing (1994), and Cities of the Plain (1998)--marked a major achievement in American literature. Only ten years earlier this now internationally acclaimed novelist had been called the best unknown writer in America.

The trilogy is McCarthy's most ambitious project yet, composed at the height of his mature powers over a period of fifteen years. It is "a miracle in prose," as Robert Hass wrote of its middle volume, an unsentimental elegy for the lost world of the cowboy, the passing of the wilderness, and the fading innocence of post--World War II America. The trilogy is a literary accomplishment with wide appeal, for despite the challenging materials in each book, these volumes remained on bestseller lists for many weeks.

This collection of essays is the first book to examine these novels as a trilogy, the first to read them as an integrated whole. Together these explorations of McCarthy's magnum opus serve as an ideal companion reader.

Represented here are nine of the most notable Cormac McCarthy scholars, both American and European. Their essays provide a substantial exploration of the trilogy from different perspectives. Included are gender issues, eco-critical approaches, explications of the war or land history underlying the trilogy, studies of narrative voice, dreams, the cowboy tradition, and the pastoral tradition, and considerations of McCarthy's moral and spiritual outlook. These essays complement one another in highly provocative ways, prompting new appreciation of the complexity of McCarthy's work and the profundity of his vision.

Edwin T. Arnold and Dianne C. Luce are editors of Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy (University Press of Mississippi). This new volume is an admirable companion to Perspectives, bringing McCarthy scholarship into the 21st century.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent scholarship
This brings includes much of the finest literary criticism on The Border Trilogy into one volume.First rate!

2-0 out of 5 stars Misleading publication
I ordered this book thinking it contained the three border trilogies, but instead found out that it is only commentaries on the books.Since this was vacation reading, and I had not yet read the books, I was disappointed. ... Read more

14. Road 1ST Edition
by Cormac Mccarthy
 Hardcover: Pages

Asin: B000ZLZ9UK
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15. Adventures in Reading Cormac McCarthy
by Peter Josyph
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-09-16)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$29.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810877074
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Regarded by many as one of America's finest-living writers, Cormac McCarthy has produced some of the most compelling novels of the last 40 years. Through the increasing number of cinematic adaptations of his work, including the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men, and the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, McCarthy is entering the mainstream of cultural consciousness, both in the United States and abroad. In Adventures in Reading Cormac McCarthy, Peter Josyph considers, at length, the author's two masterworks, Blood Meridian and Suttree, as well as the novel and film of All the Pretty Horses, McCarthy's play The Stonemason, and his film The Gardener's Son.

The book also includes extended conversations with critic Harold Bloom about Blood Meridian; novelist and poet Robert Morgan about The Gardener's Son; critic Rick Wallach about Blood Meridian; and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ted Tally about his film adaptation of All the Pretty Horses. Drawing on multiple resources of an unconventional nature, this book examines McCarthy's work from original and sometimes provocative perspectives. Proposing a new notion of criticism, Adventures in Reading Cormac McCarthy will become a useful tool for critics, students, and general readers about one of the great literary talents of the day. ... Read more

16. The Stonemason: A Play in Five Acts
by Cormac McCarthy
Paperback: 144 Pages (1995-08-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.30
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Asin: 0679762809
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Set in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1970s, The Stonemason is a multi-generational drama about black men struggling to maintain their dignity. The drama evokes the subtleties of Grecian tragedy with the mastery of character, plot, and pathos that distinguishes the acclaimed fiction of this recent National Book Award winner. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Stoney World of Cormac McCarthy
This play explores the life of a near mythic craftsman and his family.Almost biblical in it's writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Good Play
As a teacher of English, I am always looking for new and contemporary stuff.This play fits the bill nicely.Cormac McCaarthy is one of my favorite authors and does not disappoint here.Very well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Cormac McCarthy
I don't usually read plays, but I bought this one because, after finishing _Cities of the Plain_, I had read all of Cormac McCarthy's novels and was hungry for more.I was not disappointed.McCarthy's genius is no less evident in _The Stonemason_ than in any of his longer works; if anything, the shorter format of drama allows him to pack even more of his brilliant writing into every page.Many authors are said to have "an ear for dialogue"; McCarthy is the only one I know, of whom this is unquestionably true.Perhaps this explains the effortlessness with which he switches between his usual milieu (novels about white cowboys and outlaws) to the material in this book (a play about black craftsmen).Any more praise I can give to this work, and to McCarthy's other writings, cannot convey the tremendous power -- the sadness and joy - that one experiences in reading them.I only hope he still has some more books left in him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner pales
This is one of the finest books I've ever read. I've heard McCarthy compared with William Faulkner, and perhaps without Faulkner, we wouldn't have McCarthy. But, nowhere in Faulkner, or any other writer, have I encountered such fearless and unencumbered writing; such clarity. It is barely noticable that it's written in play form. Ancient and completely familiar; the writing is just like the simplicity, weight and gravity of the stone he describes. ... Read more

17. Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy (Southern Quarterly Series)
Paperback: 264 Pages (1999-01-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578061059
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Originally published in 1993, this was the first volume of essays devoted to the works of Cormac McCarthy. Immediately it was recognized as a major contribution to studies of this acclaimed American author. American Literary Scholarship hailed it as "a model of its kind." It has since established itself as an essential source for any McCarthy scholar, student, or serious reader.

In 1993, McCarthy had recently published All the Pretty Horses (1992), the award-winning first volume of the "Border Trilogy." The second volume, The Crossing, appeared in 1994, and the concluding novel, Cities of the Plain, in 1998. The completion of the trilogy, one of the most significant artistic achievements in recent American literature, calls for further consideration of McCarthy's career. This revised volume, therefore, contains in addition to the original essays a new version of Gail Morrison's article on All the Pretty Horses, plus two original essays by the editors of The Crossing (Luce) and Cities of the Plain (Arnold). With the exception of McCarthy's drama The Stonemason (1994), all the major publications are covered in this collection.

Cormac McCarthy is now firmly established as one of the masters of American literature. His first four novels, his screenplay "The Gardener's Son," and his drama The Stonemason are all set in the South. Starting with Blood Meridian (1985), he moved west, to the border country of Texas and Old and New Mexico, to create masterpieces of the western genre. Few writers have so completely and successfully described such different locales, customs, and people. Yet McCarthy is no regionalist. His work centers on the essential themes of self-determination, faith, courage, and the quest for meaning in an often violent and tragic world. For his readers wishing to know McCarthy's works this collection is both an introduction and an overview.

Edwin T. Arnold is a professor of English at Appalachian State University. Dianne C. Luce is chair of the English department at Midlands Technical College. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Caution.
Like most of the critical writing that is accruing about McCarthy's work these days, reading these essays invites the observation that academic commentary on great works of literature all too often appears as a perversesort of alchemy, an attempt to tranform bronze into excrement.Whilemerely vexatious for those familiar with McCarthy's work, theseinstitutionally sanctioned forms of obfuscation,however well-meaning, area tremendous dis-service to the uninitiated.McCarthy's ambition isbiblical, ungodly; thus, his work is robustly defiant -- even scornful --of contemporary professional exegesis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, but Beware of Ripoff
This is an excellent update of an important and hard-to-find book.It is scholarly and yet very accessible and helpful to the lay McCarthy fan.

However, be warned the hardback edition for which they are charging40 BUCKS is a very unattractive book with no dustjacket -- essentially thepaperback with a black cloth library binding.I am hopeful this can be corrected or the price slashed.Amazon doesn't display the cover for this title becauseit would be simply a black rectangle -- shades of Spinal Tap. ... Read more

18. Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road (Continuum Studies in Contemporary North American Fiction)
by Sara Spurgeon
Paperback: 224 Pages (2011-07-14)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826438202
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is a collection of original, stimulating interpretations of key texts by Cormac McCarthy, designed for students and edited and written by leading scholars in the field. Cormac McCarthy's significance in the field of contemporary American fiction is enormous. Harold Bloom has called him one of the greatest living American writers, and named him one of the three most important authors of the 20th century. His impact has been even greater in the 21st century. He won the American Book Award for "All the Pretty Horses (1991)", the Pulitzer Prize for "The Road (2006)", and his influence on contemporary American literature has been compared to that of Herman Melville, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway, while "The Guardian" likened the language of "The Road" to that of Beckett and Yeats. This collection of new critical perspectives on three of McCarthy's most widely studied novels - "All the Pretty Horses", "No Country for Old Men", and "The Road" - provides a wide-ranging introduction to the different interpretations of his work.Introductions to each set of essays encourage readers to see connections and contrasts between different approaches and comprehensive further reading will help students to take their study further. This series offers up-to-date guides to the recent work of major contemporary North American authors. Written by leading scholars in the field, each book presents a range of original interpretations of three key texts published since 1990, showing how the same novel may be interpreted in a number of different ways. These informative, accessible volumes will appeal to advance undergraduate and postgraduate students, facilitating discussion and supporting close analysis of the most important contemporary American and Canadian fiction. ... Read more

19. Cormac McCarthy: A Literary Companion (Mcfarland Literary Companions)
by Erik Hage
Paperback: 200 Pages (2010-03-17)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$35.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786443103
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Cormac McCarthy, the author of such works as Blood Meridian, All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, and The Road, is one of America's greatest living writers--an uncompromising examiner of the depths of human depravity, the nature of evil, and the bonds that endure between men. This companion is intended for both the scholar and lay reader seeking a comprehensive understanding of McCarthy's body of work. Alphabetically ordered entries offer analysis of novels, characters, motifs, allusions, plays, and themes, as well as commentary on events, people and places related to McCarthy scholarship. Most entries include a selected bibliography for further reading. A biographical introduction provides information on the life of this reclusive author, and discussion topics are provided as an aid for instructors. ... Read more

20. [The Road]THE ROAD[Paperback] by McCarthy, Cormac(Author)
 Paperback: Pages (2007-03-28)
-- used & new: US$6.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003VQC7AQ
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

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